One of the principles of mediation as it is trained and practised around the world is that participation is voluntary. The parties decide for themselves if they wish to mediate their dispute. The mediator is only needed if that is what they decide. Of course, this is not quite that clear cut, and there are…

The European Commission has recently published a consultation document on the ‘Prevention and amicable resolution of disputes between investors and public authorities within the single market’. Industry associations, practitioners (e.g. lawyers, arbitrators, and mediators), civil society organizations, as well other citizens and organizations are invited to submit their contributions through an online questionnaire by November…

On 6 July I attended the finale of the Global Pound Series held in London, the last in the series of events held worldwide to an audience of over 2000 over 30+ events. I will say now I am not a mediator, I know you are asking why did I get asked to write a…

This post riffs on Elvis Costello’s “What’s So Funny Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?” to probe the usefulness of the words “trust” and “respect” in mediation. Invitation Mediators the world over are taught to invite their clients to speak. We’re not there to tell people what to do; rather to ask them what they want…

(This is a ‘letter to self’ about court ADR research sent from the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Conference, San Francisco, April 2017.) Do Litigants Know Their Options? It’s always fascinating to come to a country where mediation is business as usual. There are some downsides to this, but the upside that immediately strikes a…

It was fifty years ago at the end of May that the Beatles launched the album (or LP as it was then called) “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on the world – and the world was changed forever. 1967 was quite a year. It was the “Summer of Love”. Revolution was in the air…

I recently carried out New Zealand’s first empirical research on the users of commercial mediation. This is Part Three of a three-part study (Part One = the mediators, Part Two = the gatekeepers/lawyers). Getting to grips with what users think of commercial mediation is the Holy Grail for mediation professionals. Until now in New Zealand,…

This post is in part a roundabout response to Constantin-Adi Gavrila’s recent Kluwer mediation blog, in which he writes about a conversation with a friend who was convinced that all mediators need to be lawyers. The argument goes that to mediate you need to be a qualified lawyer, have legal knowledge of the disputed matter,…

Forty-five years ago, Professor Christopher Stone published a paper entitled “Should Trees have Standing? Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects”. [45 Southern California Law Review 450–501.] Two years later, that paper had morphed into a book of the same title, with the subtitle, “Law, morality and the Environment” (1974; 3rd ed, 2010; OUP). Stone’s objective…

This blog comes (almost live) from the Berlin Global Pound conference, held on 24 March 2017. This was the 13th in a series of 39 coordinated events on commercial dispute resolution mechanisms around the world. The name goes back to the 1976 Pound conference in St. Paul, which marked a key moment in the advent…